For those of you who’ve been following my journey since day 1 of my Recovery and have attended my Wo/Men Workshops, you know how much I LOVE to use the words: I see you, I hear you, YOU MATTER to me.
It was a no-brainer when Seaholm Faculty asked me to come in during their U MATTER Week to speak for their inaugural TED TALK Event.
Boy was I excited to slowly and meaningfully speak into a microphone and say - HI! YOU MATTER to me - to a back-to-back packed auditorium of high school students.
I asked them, “how many of you are on social media?”. 97% of the hands shot up. Then I asked, “how many of you are authentically you on social media?” A few hands sheepishly went up. “Yes,” I said. “It’s okay. Me too.”
Because here’s the Truth. There’s no fault in portraying a false reality when the majority of the people around you are doing no different. I too showcased my highlight reel for far too long and the surprising part is that I did so because that’s what I thought people wanted to see. I was trying to PROVE to everyone that I mattered. I knew no better since I didn’t see that my belonging was already IN me.
What I’ve learned is that Story, Truth, Flaws allow us to BE Human. When we’re authentically US, we’re not only SEEN more clearly, we start to see others too. Their struggles. Their insecurities. Their flaws. Their fears. Their worries. Their Whole Being. And with that comes clarity that they too suffer just like we. All of a sudden, we no longer feel as alone as we did. Our anxiety dissipates. We begin to breathe. Panic settles into calm + clarity. Ahhh. Maybe we’re not so weird + strange + wrong after all.
At the end I asked the students to turn to the person next to them.
To tell them something kind: U MATTER. Smiles, laughter, conversation erupted. That’s where the magic is. That’s when we connect & are made to feel like we belong. That’s when we matter.
It was an absolute privilege + an honor to meet so many of you beautiful faces today. I hope we can do it again in the near future. If you didn’t hear me today: I see you, I hear you, you matter to me. xx